Guideline for Developing Mission Statements Background "A mission statement is a declaration of an organization's 'reason for being' -- it reveals the long-term vision of an organization in terms of what it wants to be and whom it wants to serve. A clear mission statement is essential for establishing goals and objectives and for formulating plans to meet those goals and objectives. It is the foundation for priorities and work assignments and is the starting point for the design of managerial jobs and for the design of the managerial structure." "Practical Leadership Strategies for SUNY Supervisors." Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Western New York. April 30, 1999. Departmental and Divisional Mission Statements According to the consultant who visited our campus on April 27, 1999, in order to develop a mission statement that everyone can "own," individuals and departments should answer the following questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. Who are we (internal relationships)? Whom do we serve (who are our customers)? What do we do (what business are we in)? How do we do it (what are the beliefs and values by which we operate)? The answers to the questions become the basis for the division-wide mission statement. According to the consultant, because employees were involved in developing the answers, they will "own" the statement and, therefore, will be committed to fulfilling its objectives. The consultant suggested a process wherein departments are also asked to "draw" the answers to the four questions -- an icon representing the answer to each question could then be placed on a crest which could become the crest/symbol of the department. Connection to College's Mission In connection with developing a departmental and/or division mission statement, each employee and department should review the College's mission statement and state how he/she/their work is connected to the College's mission. A division or department's mission statement indicates what parts of the overall mission the division or department represents and where the division or department fits in the organization. A department or division's mission statement is derived from and supports the overall mission statement of the College.